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Holiday Consumerism

Traditional practices morphed into materialism by shoppers

Photo+credit%3A+Faith+Myers
Photo credit: Faith Myers

Photo credit: Faith Myers

Photo credit: Faith Myers

Faith Myers, Photography Editor/ Staff Writer

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Every holiday is intended to celebrate something significant in history. Easter is intended to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Christmas his birth, and Thanksgiving to express gratefulness for the fulfillment of needs- like food- for the commonwealth. Despite this truth, many Americans have commercialized the meaning of holidays in order to fit their individual desires while running the holiday’s name through
the mud in the process.
 
Holidays like Easter, a religious holiday observing the death and resurrection of Christ, are celebrated throughout the country regardless of a person’s affiliation- or lack thereof- with any religion observing the resurrection. Over the centuries, pagan traditions have morphed Easter into a holiday celebrating two things in America: the resurrection of
Christ and a bunny that hides candy-filled eggs. The idea of an egg-laying hare started a long time ago with German immigrants spreading their spring traditions throughout the United States. Once Americans undertook the tradition, the Easter bunny became a prominent part of Easter and remains so today.
 
There’s only one problem though, and it’s not the fact that people let their children believe in a hare the size of a human. Easter, like other holidays, is now all about consumerism. Commercialism is a common theme during Easter, with kids wanting Easter eggs full of candy and Easter baskets full of toys. This prerogative stretches out over a vast amount of holidays, especially around (and on) Christmas Day.
 
Christmas is both a religious and secular holiday that is celebrated worldwide.Originally, Christmas was not celebrated as a religious holiday and Easter was the prominent day of celebration for religions associated with Jesus Christ. However, during the late nineteenth century Christians started to accept the idea of Christmas, leaving behind some of the pagan traditions and adopting others that appeased them. Now, people in the
U.S celebrate the holiday in a variety of ways- accompanied with a large wish list of material possessions and an ever-growing sagacity on the best way to obtain as many gifts as possible, with a smattering of religion here and there.
 
Children conjure up lists of presents they want their parents to buy them in a way that comes across as haughty and ungrateful, especially when the whole point of a gift is to receive something that isn’t expected and accepting it without complaint. This ostensible expression of gratefulness during Christmas is a façade that covers up the materialistic nature of too many of our citizens. This façade is especially seen during Thanksgiving,
where people hurry through family gatherings and meals only to get to the evening hours when the sales begin.
 
Thanksgiving Day is a day meant for family, where everyone gathers together for quality time and- like every American tradition- food. Other variables thrown into the mix of Thanksgiving include football games, parades, and the horrendous day of Black Friday that once started Thanksgiving night, but now begins earlier with each passing year. How
wonderful it is to spend time with family over a bountiful feast only to rush the day away in order to buy stuff on sale! There’s nothing wrong with Black Friday shopping when it’s in a civilized manner and not completely animalistic, but some shoppers tend to ignore the fact that Black Friday is for Friday- hence the name.
 
Thanksgiving is pushed to the side for millions of Americans in exchange for a more acquisitive holiday. Thanksgiving, like Easter and Christmas, is no longer celebrated to the full extent of its intended celebration. Yes, it’s a generalization to say that every consumer ruins holidays. However, an overwhelming majority of people in the country choose to focus
on Black Friday more than Thanksgiving. Families plan outrageous strategies that seem somewhat brutish instead of focusing on the holiday, like the more aggressive shoppers who choose to sleep outside of a Target just to purchase a T.V. on sale.
 
Holidays like Thanksgiving never seem to focus on family as much as they once did, but on the matters of consumerism instead. It’s a real shame that some people disregard the family orientated theme that is designed for the holidays. Even though many people ignore a holiday’s true intended purpose, some families stay true to their meanings and
celebrate them without selfish entitlement. As the new year approaches, millions of families will repeat the preposterous cycle of consumerism that runs deep within our culture. Hopefully, the cycle will break in 2017 and families will gather to celebrate each of the holidays as they were meant to be, without over commercializing them and spending quality time with family instead of focusing on holiday sales. One can only hope
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Holiday Consumerism